Where to jump into the Apple ecosystem?

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
I have a friend at work that is very concerned about privacy and security and wants to start protecting hmself better. I offered several places to start, but after thinking about it, I'm like, "He's need a Mac first and foremost!" (How do you secure Windows 10?!)

So where would be a good place to start him off?

I have no clue of his budget, but the lower the price the more likely he is to give Macs a try.

At Macs4U I saw some MacBook Airs for lke $500, and a MBP for like $1,100 and some Mac Minis for like $400-500, and even iMacs for like $600.

For someone who just a secure way to surf the internet, send emails, maybe watch YouTube where would you recommend someone to begin?

I want him to have an awesome start with Apple, and maybe build a new lifelong Machead.

This will also make my life of teaching him security MUCH easier!! :)
 

maxjohnson2

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2017
313
193
I recommend changing the DNS server for your devices or home router, and using Adguard, I wrote about it here.

If you consider that allegedly both Apple and Google participate in Prism, then that part of privacy is out the window, but still you want consumer privacy. Google say they don't sell user datas, they do collect it for marketing purposes, but there are allegation they do a little more than just that (but it would be a political discussion to talk about). My personal experience is I received a lot of spam when using Gmail and none in my iCloud, so that's something.

You can move to iOS/MacOS, but also it's what you do inside them that's matter. A lot of apps and websites still use third party ads and trackers, it's just a matter of connecting to the internet, not what operating system you use. But for starter, I think Google and Facebook are two companies you want to block.

Just a side note, I recently used a newer Samsung Galaxy model and they do a lot of data collection like Google, except they sell the data the third parties. In fact, they just updated their Samsung Pay app to give an option to opt out of selling data to third parties. To me, in this context it's even worse if you use a Samsung phone since it's a double whamy. So it's more about being smart with how you use the phones than just avoiding Google and thinking you're safe.
 
Last edited:

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
@maxjohnson2,

I don't think you should invest energy in that (proselytism)
It's not proselytism, it being practical. Windows 10 tracks the sh*t out of you and Microsoft even says so.

Macs and Linux are superior as a foundation of privacy and security. (I wouldn't even know where to begin in Windows.)

Either way, I do this for a living, so no need to start a long debate on how best to do security...

Back to my OP...

IF this person wanted to switch - and he sounds interested - where would be the best place for him to start?

I hate to tell someone, "Go drop $3,000 om the latest ad greatest" only to find out that decision was a bad one for them!

Not sure if he is a stationary or mobile user. If he uses this at home, I think you can't go wrong with a $400 Mac Mini. ALthough I was floored at how cheap the IMacs are. And I would never buy a Mac Air, but for surfing maybe that is enough. I dunno. Hope all of you have some wisdom to share?!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sikh

G5isAlive

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2003
820
1,035
For someone who just a secure way to surf the internet, send emails, maybe watch YouTube where would you recommend someone to begin?

I want him to have an awesome start with Apple, and maybe build a new lifelong Machead.

This will also make my life of teaching him security MUCH easier!! :)
you just described perhaps the best use case for an iPad. 😂

I’m being serious, I own a macbook air, MacBook pro, and iMac Pro. But to browse the web, quick emails, texting, YouTubing, or video, I grab my iPad. One with a keyboard if it’s a long email. Hands down preference.

I’m on my iPad now.

otherwise, if you insist on a Mac, and you want mobile, the air has you covered. It’s what I take when I travel for work. At home with my existing 4K screen, it’s the Mac mini. At work desk, where I didn’t already have a good monitor or keyboard, it’s the iMac.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas

This page might be a good start. It gives a pretty thorough overview of security issues in the Apple ecosystem.
Thanks, but that wasn't my question.

I am asking which Apple *hardware* would be the best palce to start for someone coming from Windows and who isn't entirely sure if Macs are for them...
- - Post merged: - -

you just described perhaps the best use case for an iPad. 😂

I’m being serious, I own a macbook air, MacBook pro, and iMac Pro. But to browse the web, quick emails, texting, YouTubing, or video, I grab my iPad. One with a keyboard if it’s a long email. Hands down preference.

I’m on my iPad now.
I'll mention it, but I think he wants a "computer".


otherwise, if you insist on a Mac, and you want mobile, the air has you covered. It’s what I take when I travel for work.
What would make a Mac Air a bad choice? The most obvious thing to me is a lac of power and maybe a lack of ports (e.g. wants to plug in a DVD player or external HDD or whatever.)


At home with my existing 4K screen, it’s the Mac mini.
If he bought a Mac Mini, what monitor could/would he use? (I own a mac Mini, but it's in storage and I haven't used it in 11 years.)

What type of monitor and monitor connection would work on a used Mac Mini?

Is there an Apple monitor, or do you just buy a PC monitor?



At work desk, where I didn’t already have a good monitor or keyboard, it’s the iMac.
What are the gotchas with an Imac?

I am floored at how cheap they are...

https://www.macs4u.com/categories/iMac/
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,030
5,977
I'd say MacBook Pro is "riskiest".
DO NOT buy ANY MacBook Pro with a butterfly keyboard -- after 4 years, it could become VERY expensive to repair if the keys stop working.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Texas_Toast

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,488
31,522
Boston
t being practical. Windows 10 tracks the sh*t out of you and Microsoft even says so.
Easy enough to turn off, but I get your point.


Not sure if he is a stationary or mobile user.
Sounds like you really don't know his needs, his desires, his budget or his wishes. I think its hard to recommend anything when you know next to nothing of what he needs. It sounds like you just want to proselytize him - especially given this comment:

and maybe build a new lifelong Machead.
Did he even ask help, or are you looking to provide him with suggestions even though may not be wanting to switch?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Daverich4

Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
61
21
I do not consider that only security is an issue to go to OS X, more than anything for the investment that involves.
In fact there is Windows 10 LTSC / LTSB where telemetry is disabled.
Another option is to switch to Linux, an easy-to-use distribution such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu.
If you still want to move to the Apple ecosystem, you would believe that a Macbook / Macbook Air is the most economical option and the new models have SSD.
An iMac with SSD or a Mac Mini 2018 are more expensive not so much.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
Sounds like you really don't know his needs, his desires, his budget or his wishes. I think its hard to recommend anything when you know next to nothing of what he needs.
I am doing preliminary research and trying to avoid obvious things like this...
I'd say MacBook Pro is "riskiest".
DO NOT buy ANY MacBook Pro with a butterfly keyboard -- after 4 years, it could become VERY expensive to repair if the keys stop working.

It sounds like you just want to proselytize him - especially given this comment:
I'm not on commission here... ;-)


Did he even ask help, or are you looking to provide him with suggestions even though may not be wanting to switch?
I belive I said earlier that he came to me asking for security help and after thinking about his concerns, I think spending $500 on a used Mac and coming at security from a more responsible perspective would be the best way to go.

When he gets back from vacation, I'll ask him if he neds a home or mobile solution, and if he would consider trying out a Mac. If he says yes, then this thread will be helpful. If he says no - for whatever reasons - then I'll make different security recommendations.

No proselytizing going on here really...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Longkeg

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,488
31,522
Boston
No proselytizing going on here really
Maybe, maybe not but you came here asking for advice on how to get him inserted in the apple ecosystem and you yourself did say that you hope he becomes "a new lifelong Machead." That certainly sounds like proselytizing to me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I mean its not like your friend asked you about what computer to buy but rather some security questions.

Either way, good luck, I guess there's not much else I can say

I'm not on commission here... ;-)
Nope, I agree, but it seems you're taking a more personal role in trying to get him over to the apple ecosystem when its quite possible what he has fits his needs better.

I am doing preliminary research and trying to avoid obvious things like this...
If you're inferring Fishrrman's advice is not helpful, I respectfully disagree. Its undeniable that any Mac using a butterfly keyboard should be avoided. The 2016 models are close to rolling off Apple's repair program, why buy a computer that has a history of issues and it could very well cost the person a lot of money to repair.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2019
382
182
I have a friend at work that is very concerned about privacy and security and wants to start protecting hmself better. I offered several places to start, but after thinking about it, I'm like, "He's need a Mac first and foremost!" (How do you secure Windows 10?!)

So where would be a good place to start him off?

I have no clue of his budget, but the lower the price the more likely he is to give Macs a try.

At Macs4U I saw some MacBook Airs for lke $500, and a MBP for like $1,100 and some Mac Minis for like $400-500, and even iMacs for like $600.

For someone who just a secure way to surf the internet, send emails, maybe watch YouTube where would you recommend someone to begin?

I want him to have an awesome start with Apple, and maybe build a new lifelong Machead.

This will also make my life of teaching him security MUCH easier!! :)
You can easily secure a Windows 10 system. You just need to know how and where as I am using a Windows 10 system right now as we speak secured with 256 bit AES encryption as well as VPN behind a security router. The idea that Linux and Mac are more secure than Windows 10 is totally utter bias, BS and nonsense! Recently we had health care lab (LifeLabs Inc) in our town, one of the biggest in our country that claimed that run Linux with the most secure security got broken into and the hackers ransomed the company for those data. The company eventually paid the ransom. It was running Apache and some sort of linux database. The data was NOT even encrypted!! Another bank ran a Mac server and that too got broken into and data stolen!! Why do these enterprise servers and IT experts got beaten down by the hackers?!?

It is totally ego pride and arrogance that they thought Linux and Mac OSX would never be as less secure as Windows. So you know what they did? They didn't even update the OS with security updates because they thought, why would you need security updates when the OS is so secure and keep paying these people?

Security is about knowledge and being humble and aware that any security can be compromised. Microsoft, Google, and even MacRumors.com track you. I didn't realize MacRumors.com ads were tracking my movements until I updated my security gateway this year and once I blocked those ads, I never had issues with macrumors.com anymore except this website now loads much much slower with all my security implementations in place and no longer tracks me.

The problem with people who thinks that only governments track you, but truly everyone is tracking you and your usage habits so they can profile you on your shopping habits. Why couldn't macrumors opt me out of all ads and still keep sending me to turn on notifications when I declined so many times? Why do I have to block all ads that track me?!?

If you want complete privacy, then don't browse the web. There is zero privacy once you are assigned an IP address. The question is; how much privacy you want to maintain and how much knowledge you want to keep yourself up to date and what do you want to achieve.

There is a price to pay for all that privacy. For example, a simple request from Siri for a weather report would give me a report of Sweden (my VPN) and sometimes Germany, my other VPN and sometimes in the Baltic region (my security gate). Even my time is mainly in the wrong zone as well. You will loose the convenience of a weather report of your local hometown because that's what you get for the least convenience where most services can't track you, but you will not get the convenience of local geolocation and time reporting.

In the end, I have 2 separate systems. For the work I do, I use my maximum security system setup which provides complete security with security updates on my Windows 10 and Mac OSX systems. I also run Mint 19.3 Tricia on a special server for encrypted mail communication as well. But for pleasure where I don't mind being transparent to whomever want to spy on me, then I let them as long as I don't do anything that requires security. You will have to give up a lot to achieve maximum security; which is how MacOSX and iOS were designed compared to Windows 10 and Android which give you more flexibility and customizations that the Macs do not offer.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,294
1,956
Between the coasts
If you're thinking about the "Apple ecosystem" then we're talking about the ability to interact with other Apple products and services. If a used Mac today leads to a new iPad or iPhone by next year (or is an addition to an iPhone and/or iPad he already owns), will that Mac be able to run a version of macOS that supports ecosystem features found in the latest versions of iOS? In short, I'd lean towards newer models in order to get the longest life (spend a hundred or so more to get more years of usage).

This is not necessarily a major barrier. My Late 2013 iMac will probably be good for the latest macOS for another year or two. However, it's not new enough to support Sidecar. (Is Sidecar necessary in my life? No, it'd just be fun to try it out.)

As to whether iMac, Mini, or MacBook is "better," that's a classic matter of assessing the users computing needs (or finding an equivalent to his current PC configuration). They all run the same OS. Folks on MR often debate the relative pros and cons of a particular model, but in some senses it's like restaurant patrons debating which of a restaurant's menu items is best... Who cares if the fish is best if one doesn't eat fish?

In short, choose a Mac that meets this person's needs and budget, and isn't so old that it may be obsolete in a year or two.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
@maflynn,

I'm disappointed with your response - that doesn't sound like you.


Maybe, maybe not but you came here asking for advice on how to get him inserted in the apple ecosystem and you yourself did say that you hope he becomes "a new lifelong Machead." That certainly sounds like proselytizing to me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I mean its not like your friend asked you about what computer to buy but rather some security questions.
Anyone here think it is easier to secure Windows 10 versus any mac or Linux box?

If so, I'll give you my co-worker's tele #.

:rolleyes:



Either way, good luck, I guess there's not much else I can say
How about answering my OP.

Do you think that one type of mac might be a better buy/start for someone new to Apple?

I'm not a product expert like some of you.

For a home user, I'd say a Mac Mini looks the most reliable and most affordable based on macs4U's website, but maybe others here have other thoughts?


Nope, I agree, but it seems you're taking a more personal role in trying to get him over to the apple ecosystem when its quite possible what he has fits his needs better.
Nope. I am trying to address his concerns about be TRACKED.

And it is my *professional* opinion/experience that that is easier to do on a NON-Windows10 computer.

You are free to disagree.


If you're inferring Fishrrman's advice is not helpful, I respectfully disagree. Its undeniable that any Mac using a butterfly keyboard should be avoided. The 2016 models are close to rolling off Apple's repair program, why buy a computer that has a history of issues and it could very well cost the person a lot of money to repair.
@maflynn... We have "violent agreement" here! I agreed with @Fishrrman and apparently with you as well!!

Need some coffee? :)
- - Post merged: - -

@iluvmacs99,

There are so many holes in your comments I'm not even going to bother going down the rabbit hole to fight things out with you.

I will say that you are putting words into my mouth...
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,488
31,522
Boston
Do you think that one type of mac might be a better buy/start for someone new to Apple?
That's the tough part, we don't have a possible budget of what the person can spend money on, we don't have his usage. If its just surfing, then I'd say a used Mac Mini would be the most economical.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
That's the tough part, we don't have a possible budget of what the person can spend money on, we don't have his usage. If its just surfing, then I'd say a used Mac Mini would be the most economical.
Of course I will ask when he gets back from vacation.

If I was going to recommend someone get a 2nd non-Windows computer to try and be more secure, I wouldn't recommend they spend over $1,000.

On mac4U, they have...

--------------
Mac Mini
1.4Ghz Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Late 2014
$439


--------------
iMac
21.5-Inch Desktop
(2.8Ghz Core i5 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD), Late 2015-2017
$689


--------------
MacBook Air
13.3-Inch Laptop
(1.6 Ghz Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 256GB SSD) Fair, Early 2015-2017
$549


*IF* my co-worker was interested in trying out Apple, then I'd say any of those would be great entry points.

Maybe all of you have different opinions?

That is all I was asking.

Not looking for heated debates about Apple-cults or how-to's on security... :cool:
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,511
6,694
I think the best way to jump into the Apple ecosystem is an iPhone or iPad, and then the Mac follows from there. Security is probably even more important with a phone because if you are the typical user, it is constantly tracking your location 24x7. It is also easier to switch phone operating systems then it is to switch from Windows to MacOS.

If you specifically meant Apple computers, then I recommend that whatever your friend gets has an SSD. Macs with HDDs are excruciatingly slow and I think that would harm the transition experience.
 

Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
61
21
Of course I will ask when he gets back from vacation.

If I was going to recommend someone get a 2nd non-Windows computer to try and be more secure, I wouldn't recommend they spend over $1,000.

On mac4U, they have...

--------------
Mac Mini
1.4Ghz Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Late 2014
$439


--------------
iMac
21.5-Inch Desktop
(2.8Ghz Core i5 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD), Late 2015-2017
$689


--------------
MacBook Air
13.3-Inch Laptop
(1.6 Ghz Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 256GB SSD) Fair, Early 2015-2017
$549


*IF* my co-worker was interested in trying out Apple, then I'd say any of those would be great entry points.

Maybe all of you have different opinions?

That is all I was asking.

Not looking for heated debates about Apple-cults or how-to's on security... :cool:
Two factors to consider please do not go for configurations with 4GB of Ram and HDD we are in 2020, you will have a very poor experience.
If you have to sacrifice one of the above factors, go for 4GB of Ram but with SSD, use Macbooks with this configuration and you can say to walk fast while not saturating the use of simultaneous applications.
The 2014 Mac Minis have poor performance (and all people agree) a 2012 model is preferable if you can't go for 2018.
If I had to go through the options listed above, I would go for the Macbook, the HDD is very bad (unless you think about replacing it with an SSD).
I don't know what country it is but I'm sure you can find better alternatives for the same price range.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Texas_Toast

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
Two factors to consider please do not go for configurations with 4GB of Ram and HDD we are in 2020, you will have a very poor experience.
If you have to sacrifice one of the above factors, go for 4GB of Ram but with SSD, use Macbooks with this configuration and you can say to walk fast while not saturating the use of simultaneous applications.
The 2014 Mac Minis have poor performance (and all people agree) a 2012 model is preferable if you can't go for 2018.
If I had to go through the options listed above, I would go for the Macbook, the HDD is very bad (unless you think about replacing it with an SSD).
I don't know what country it is but I'm sure you can find better alternatives for the same price range.
Now THIS was the kind of response I was hoping for!!

First of all, I wasn't paying attention that two of the choices had 4GB of RAm and one 8GB of RAM. So how much RAM would be good enough for someone switching to have a decent Mac experience?

Second, I did NOT know that 2014 Mac Mini's had poor performance. Guess that is why it is for sale!!

Are there any used Macs on Macs4U that you would recommend for a potential switcher?

Or, are there any other websites that have used Macs that you think would be a good investment?

My original thinking was that in my co-worker got a used, but respectable used mac, it would be a more economical way to start off with Macs, and IF he liked the experience, then he could upgrade later. And IF he didn't like macs, then it wasn't too expensive of an experiment.

Life is short, and it's a shame to see people get married to a particular brand of car or computer or whatever for fear of changing.

Clearly he is unhappy with what he experiences with Windows, so I figured a larger jump might be in order.

Personally, in the early 2000's I just could take Microsoft anymore, and I switched, and it was the best thing I ever did. Others may have different experiences.

The purpose of this thread was to get some modern advice on *hardware* since I haven't bought a Mac in a few years, and I only really know MacBooks.

Do you think he could buy a used, but respectable, Mac for under $1,000?

Right now I am typing and surfing on my 2012 MBP which I ironically still use more than my much newer Retina. So that may sexplain my bias in that I think you can get a used computer that isn't cutting edge and still have a great experience surfing the Net, sending e-mails, etc.

Make sense?

Thanks @Reflej0 from helping me to make some bad recommendations!! 😊
 

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,140
1,187
Toronto
They said not to get a 4 GB + HD combo, but the one you posted uses 4 GB + SSD. For the purposes you listed it will suffice. Get Malwarebytes free, or pay the subscription fee if you want, enable FileVault, and he's on his way with his first Mac.
The iMac is a good all in one option, if you purchase a USB 3 SSD for its boot drive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Texas_Toast

Texas_Toast

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
931
73
Texas
They said not to get a 4 GB + HD combo, but the one you posted uses 4 GB + SSD. For the purposes you listed it will suffice. Get Malwarebytes free, or pay the subscription fee if you want, enable FileVault, and he's on his way with his first Mac.
The iMac is a good all in one option, if you purchase a USB 3 SSD for its boot drive.
My fear of an iMac is that it is a computer and monitor all crammed in one, and I was worried that if something went wrong on a used one, the repair bill could be expensive. Are my fears warranted?


Here are some more choices on mac Minis...

https://eshop.macsales.com/configure-my-mac/mac-mini


This one looks like a winner...

Apple Mac mini (Late 2014)

- 1.4GHz Dual-Core Core i5 processor
- 8GB memory
- 500GB OWC Mercury Electra™ 6G SSD
- Intel HD Graphics 5000 with 1GB
- (4) USB 3.0 type A ports
- (2) Thunderbolt 2 ports
- (1) Gigabit Ethernet port
- (1) HDMI port
- macOS 10.12 Sierra pre-installed
- 90 Day OWC Fulfilled Limited Warranty
** 14-day 100% Money-Back Guarantee

$559


You can't go wrong with a 14-day full-refund policy.

How does that hardware look?
 
Last edited:

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,140
1,187
Toronto
My fear of an iMac is that it is a computer and monitor all crammed in one, and I was worried that if something went wrong on a used one, the repair bill could be expensive. Are my fears warranted?


Here are some more choices on mac Minis...

https://eshop.macsales.com/configure-my-mac/mac-mini


This one looks like a winner...

Apple Mac mini (Late 2014)

- 1.4GHz Dual-Core Core i5 processor
- 8GB memory
- 500GB OWC Mercury Electra™ 6G SSD
- Intel HD Graphics 5000 with 1GB
- (4) USB 3.0 type A ports
- (2) Thunderbolt 2 ports
- (1) Gigabit Ethernet port
- (1) HDMI port
- macOS 10.12 Sierra pre-installed
- 90 Day OWC Fulfilled Limited Warranty
** 14-day 100% Money-Back Guarantee

You can't go wrong with a 14-day full-refund policy.

How does that hardware look?
Good
 
  • Like
Reactions: Texas_Toast